Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 20 credits / 30 HE credits
This thesis explores the value of Volvo CE’s Demo Centre in Eskilstuna trough an inductive case study approach. The authors pose the question “What is the resellers’ perceived value of the visit to the Demo Centre and other peripheral activities in conjunction with customer trips?” This is a problem because there is no prior research to what the value of the Demo Centre is and how the value could be measured. The inductive approach results in two major case studies on resellers in Denmark and Belgium and Luxembourg. The data is used to generate conclusions which serve as base for theoretical research. The theory can be reduced to five overall categories; relations, trust, experiences and brand theory. The conclusions are confirmed by the respondents and the authors formulate these conclusions with the theoretical and empirical support as propositions; -Proposition 1: The Demo Centre, the Munktell Museum, the Volvo Factories and Sweden are factors for creating values that benefit the sales process. -Proposition 2: The Volvo Philosophy, Dreams, Having fun, Atmosphere, Experiences, Volvo CE Brand Image and Reseller Image are the values that can be experienced by going to Sweden, The Demo Centre, The Munktell museum, The Volvo Factories and as such they support the sales process. -Proposition 3: A feeling of trust (safety, credibility) for the reseller and Volvo CE can be achieved with the values in proposition one and two and thus creating or strengthening the relationship with the reseller and/or Volvo CE. -Proposition 4: The customer may feel the need to reciprocate the reseller for his act of giving them the trip (experience). This could also lead to the customer being less price sensitive by having a trusting relationship with the reseller. -Proposition 5: The outcome of the previous propositions can affect the potential purchase behavior of customers that have taken part on such trips. The subsequent validation analysis shows that the resellers perceive the outcome of going on a trip greater than the cost. Another finding is that the common experiences between the reseller and customer lead to an increase in trust and strengthens the relation, leading to a positive impact on sales. The primary aim with customer visits to Sweden is to build customer relations. In second comes increase in sales, implying that a relationship with the customer is a requisite for sales. The findings also show that creating trust, increasing sales and building customer relations is best done by visits to the Demo Centre. In general, the activities associated with visits to the Demo Centre are greatly appreciated by the resellers, has high impact on sales, relations and trust building, and can thereby be considered as irreplaceable and financially viable. Another conclusion is that the Volvo CE resellers’ value of the Demo Centre can not be seen without regarding other activities involved in customer trips. The other activities such as the Munktell museum and the factories add an important dimension in building trust and involvement with the customers. Keywords: relationship marketing, consumer experience tourism, trust, Volvo Construction Equipment, case study, perceived value.